By differential screening of an arrayed normalized cDNA library from the inflorescence apex in Arabidopsis, a cDNA clone having a deduced amino acid sequence with a motif for a zinc finger was isolated as one of the genes expressed specifically in the reproductive phase. The deduced protein has a modular structure with a putative single C2-C2 zinc-finger motif distantly related to a GATA-1-type finger, a basic region with a sequence resembling a nuclear localization signal, and an acidic region. The gene seemed to have been formed by the exon-shuffling during its molecular evolution, since individual domains are encoded by discrete exons. RNA gel blot analysis showed its expression in shoot apex and flowers in the reproductive phase. The gene was named ZIM for Zinc-finger protein expressed in Inflorescence Meristem. The nuclear localization of ZIM was detected using GFP as a reporter. These results suggest that ZIM is a putative transcription factor involved in inflorescence and flower development.
2000 by Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry